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News » DODGERS 4, ROCKIES 3 L.A. hits pen hard Middle relievers make a mess of De La Rosa's start.


DODGERS 4, ROCKIES 3 L.A. hits pen hard Middle relievers make a mess of De La Rosa's start.


DODGERS 4, ROCKIES 3 L.A. hits pen hard Middle relievers make a mess of De La Rosa's start.
LOS ANGELES - Rockies manager Clint Hurdle shook up the bullpen before Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, replacing closer Huston Street with Manuel Corpas.

But that was nothing compared to the earthquake the Dodgers unleashed on the Rockies' middle relievers in the seventh inning. As a result, the Rockies dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker as the Dodgers won their sixth straight game.

Given a 3-0 lead in the seventh, Rockies right-handed reliever Matt Belisle gave up a leadoff single to Rafael Furcal, followed by a walk to Orlando Hudson. Up to the plate stepped Manny Ramirez, as the Dodgers faithful pumped up the volume. Belisle pitched oh-so-carefully to the slugger, running the count to 3-1, before Ramirez punched a single to right, scoring Furcal and moving Hudson to third. It was the fifth RBI of the season for Ramirez.

Out went Belisle and in came Alan Embree. Matt Kemp hit a grounder, forcing Ramirez out at second, but scoring Hudson, cutting Colorado's lead to 3-2. The Dodgers tied the game a moment later on Andre Ethier's double to the gap in left-center.

In came Jason Grilli. He struck out Russell Martin, but Mark Loretta hit a dying single to shallow left, scoring Ethier and putting L.A. in front 4-3.

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa turned in a performance that was, fittingly for '70s night at Dodger Stadium, "far out, man."

He pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing five hits, walking four and striking out five. Three of his strikeouts - in the first, fourth and fifth - ended the inning with men in scoring position.

The Rockies had a chance in the eighth, loading the bases with one out and forcing Dodgers manager Joe Torre to call for closer Jonathan Broxton an inning early.

Broxton struck out Troy Tulowitzki on a 94-mph fastball. Then he whiffed struggling Chris Iannetta on an off-speed pitch. Iannetta has just one hit in 21 at-bats (0.48), but Hurdle stuck with him rather than send up hot-hitting left-handed hitter Ian Stewart as a pinch hitter.

Prior to the sixth, De La Rosa's wildest moment was with two outs in the second inning and Martin on first. De La Rosa easily fielded a roller back to the mound off the bat of opposing pitcher Randy Wolf. Casually, and inexplicably, he threw the ball over the head of first baseman Todd Helton. That allowed Russell to advance to third. But De La Rosa, prone in the not-too-distant past to mound meltdowns, quickly composed himself and got Furcal to foul out to Helton to end the inning.

"I think I'm learning how to stay calm out there," De La Rose said. "It's a lot better."

Once the sun sets, the ball doesn't carry well at Dodger Stadium, but the Rockies took advantage of the sunny warmth of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead after Brad Hawpe crushed a 3-2 pitch from Wolf into the right-field bleachers, his first homer.

About a game that slipped away and his team's inability to score after the first inning, Tulowitzki said: "That's frustrating, it's seems like it's kind of been a trend for us. But I know this team is going to hit, get hot and get on a roll."

Patrick Saunders: 303-954-1428 or psaunders@denverpost.com


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 19, 2009

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